Jason Statham, Stephen Campbell Moore, James Faulkner, Alki David, and Daniel Mays in The Bank Job (dir. Roger Donaldson, 2008).
Roger Donaldson would probably have been more at home, and more frequently successful, in the old Hollywood. He makes highly conventional, story-driven movies according to formula, and is often very resourceful within those limitations. The Bank Job showcases his talents to their best advantage. Casting Jason Statham strictly according to type, for example, is hardly imaginative, but it's practical, and gets a certain dimension of audience expectation securely in place and therefore out of the way. Donaldson also has the restraint (or lack of range?) to avoid milking the early seventies English setting for its retro-groovy factor: this is not a hip ironic heist film, it's just a heist film. And as such, it's got the right moves. There's the inexhaustible Rififi-esque routine of painstakingly tunneling into the vault area, the mazy network of double- and triple-crosses, the brotherhood of thieves and their fragile code of honor.... And nothing new beyond that. This is just solid, workmanlike genre fodder. And if there were crime movies this solid and workmanlike at the theater every week, I'd be in heaven.
Labels: Roger Donaldson